Philadelphia Radio Host Fired After Exposing Scripted Biden Interview Questions

A Philadelphia radio station has dismissed a host who revealed that the Biden administration provided scripted questions for an interview with President Joe Biden. This incident has sparked significant debate about media independence and the transparency of Biden’s interactions with the press.

Andrea Lawful-Sanders, a host at WURD, a Black-focused radio station in Philadelphia, disclosed that she was given predetermined questions by the White House for her interview with Biden. This revelation comes amid Biden’s reelection campaign struggles following a poor performance in a CNN debate.

WURD Radio President and CEO Sara M. Lomax announced the station’s decision, stating, “On July 3, the first post-debate interview with President Joe Biden was arranged and negotiated independently by WURD Radio host Andrea Lawful-Sanders without knowledge, consultation, or collaboration with WURD management. The interview featured pre-determined questions provided by the White House, which violates our practice of remaining an independent media outlet accountable to our listeners. As a result, Ms. Lawful-Sanders and WURD Radio have mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately.”

The controversy intensified when Earl Ingram, another Black host from CivicMedia, revealed he also received scripted questions for an interview with Biden aimed at a Wisconsin audience. Ingram expressed his frustration, saying, “I didn’t get a chance to ask him all the things I wanted to ask,” during an ABC News interview.

In response to these revelations, the Biden campaign denied managing the interview process or providing scripted questions. A campaign spokesperson clarified, “White House did not manage the process or the questions. This was a campaign interview and, as such, it was handled by the campaign and our Black Media Director. To overcommunicate, the White House Black media director was not involved because it was a campaign interview and not a White House one.”

The allegations against the Black hosts have prompted backlash, with some social media users criticizing the campaign’s response as racially insensitive. Biden’s campaign relies heavily on the support of Black voters, a demographic he has been courting to fend off calls within his party to step down from the race.

A Black Democratic strategist expressed concern, telling Axios, “The only reason President Biden is at the top of this ticket is his genuine, long-standing relationship with Black voters, built over decades. For his team to throw that relationship into jeopardy by using Black journalists as human shields for their communications crisis should be a fireable offense.”

This incident raises important questions about the ethics of providing scripted questions to journalists and the integrity of political interviews. As Biden’s campaign moves forward, the scrutiny over these practices and their implications for media independence will likely continue to grow.